Monday, February 10, 2020

Rise and Shine

Somewhere in the recesses of my mind there is a jukebox that plays long forgotten, dusty records. These songs can be almost anything: my high school alma mater, the theme song from a show cancelled decades ago, or an old Sunday School regular. The problem with this jukebox is that I never know when a quarter will be dropped into it. I could be walking through the mall when the urge to sing (and dance) a round of Father Abraham hits me. I see a construction site, and my mind reminds me that “the wise man built his house upon the rock and the rains came tumbling down.” But for all the times I’ve woken my children to an off key “rise and shine and give God the glory-ory,” I never realized the song is scripturaly based. Sure enough, I opened my Bible to Isaiah 60, and there it was:

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.“ (Isaiah 60:1, NASB)

Or, as the New Century translation says it:

“Jerusalem, get up and shine, because your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines on you.” (Isaiah 60:1, NCV)

One of the most interesting parts of reading a verse in multiple translations is the word variances. In these versions there are two verbs giving action to God’s glory: rise and shine. They are not independent of each other, however; when talking about the sun, to rise is to shine.

In my house we have a strange relationship with the sun. I love natural light. I love the sunshine that floods our living room through our oversized sliding glass doors. I routinely open every curtain in the house immediately upon waking, and I avoid turning on lights whenever possible. Meanwhile, my husband, who works late into the night, is terrorized by the light. When you work late you also sleep late, so both of the windows in our bedroom have three coverings. Our bedroom is almost pitch black, but it didn’t start that way. We started with a simple white linen; it’s clean and plain, and it allowed the sun to wake me each morning, just the way I like it. That was not supportive of my husband’s schedule, so we added a brown linen curtain. This layer is darker and sits closer to the window. It would be sufficient for most people, but not a day sleeper. One day I came home and found a layer of foil had been taped to the window in response to another day of poor sleep.

Isaiah 60 continues on to give purpose to this brightness:

“Darkness now covers the earth; deep darkness covers her people. But the Lord shines on you, and people see his glory around you. Nations will come to your light; kings will come to the brightness of your sunrise.” (Isaiah 60:2-3, NCV)

As believers we don’t live under a spotlight, seeking crowds to applaud out gifts and talents. We live as a beacon, drawing those in need to the God who provides: Jehovah Jireh.

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